A Better Life

Just some thoughts on my life…and how I am trying to live it better

The Final Goal

Posted by Aaron on February 1, 2010

The title to the 1st chapter in “Be A Man!” by Fr. Richards is entitled, “Be a Man Who Stays Focused on the Final Goal.” The 1st words of this first chapter are, “You are going to die!” Wow…what a way to begin a book…. Truly uplifting, right? Well, as I read further into the chapter, I realized and he wrote about the fact that the sooner you come to the realization of the fact of this statement, the more fully and the better you will live your life.

Death is a fact of life that none of us can control…at all… no matter how we try to live more a more healthy, physically fit life, it could be gone in a flash. You truly never really know if that next breath you want to take will happen. You no matter how carefully you drive, no matter how you protect yourself, you never know when that “time” will come via accident, via force, or naturally. You just never know. Once we realize this, we can begin the process of addressing this truly unknown in our life. We are powerless to avoid it. It is something that happens to everyone…at some point, and none of us know when it will be coming!

So many of us have very timely goals in our lives…striving, practicing to achieve these goals, which in the end are very un-important in the broad scope of even our lives. Fr. Larry uses the example of athletes in high school whose goal is a state championship, but later in life…really, who cares. And yet they practice HARD each and every day to achieve the goal. He then flips that over to our spiritual life and what should our goal be? Heaven! Being with God for eternity, and yet, what do we do? Many, or should I say most of us often spend an hour a week with him at church, when we feel like it, and then, when we remember, we try to think good thoughts through the rest of the week…think about it!! Do we really truly practice and live our lives like we want to achieve this goal of eternal life with Him?? Don’t you think we should put just a little extra effort into it, maybe even a lot!??

Remember, our goal is to live in eternity with Him! – this is not something fading…I really liked his description of eternity, found on page 23, “Eternity can be compared to when a man goes to the beach at Lake Erie, bends down, takes one grain of sand, one tiny, itty-bitty grain of sand, and he slowly takes one step. It takes him ten thousand years to go take another step. This man starts slowly walking and it takes him a billion years to get to the top of Mount Everest. When he gets to the top of Mount Everest, he drops that one grain of sand and slowly, at ten thousand years a step, walks back to the lake. It takes billions of years to get back to Lake Erie and, there, he starts the process again. [He then does this same process with each piece of sand throughout the earth.] When he has every grain of sand at the top of Mount Everest, then eternity is just beginning.” Just beginning!!!! Think of the amount of time we are contemplating here! And, as he continues on to say, “what we do in this little time on earth [our life] determines where our eternity will be.” Interesting…think about it. If we don’t, we won’t like where we are for all that time ahead of us after our death!

But, at the same time, we must know extremely intimately like we know our good friends, our wives, our family! We must take time with him! We cannot just spend an hour a week, and some good thoughts the rest of the time! We need to make a commitment to God of our time so that we can get to know him, and love him like he does us!

“If you want to be a man, then be a man of God. If you want to be a man, then you have to say, ‘It is going to take me time just like it takes me time to make money, time to be healthy, time to watch sports, time to do all of these things. If it takes time to grow in those things, then it is going to take time to get to know God.’ God must become the most important thing in your life. Money isn’t going to keep you alive forever. Being healthy isn’t going to keep you alive forever…Let me give you a hint: nothing will keep you alive forever except God. The most important thing you will ever do is seek God. When you come to know Him, He will teach you how to be a man.”

How more true can these statements be?? Fr. Larry’s writing is filled with thought provoking questions. He is an incredible writer who really makes me think with each of his sentences. One of the things he does in this book, is at the end of each chapter he has “Three tasks you must accomplish” and then offers, “Questions for reflection and discussion”

3 Tasks:
1. Be a man who lives with your end in mind. Write down what you want god and others to say about you when you die. These should be your new goals in life. Now set up a plan on what you need to do to reach these goals. Be practical!
2. Be a man who knows God. If you do not know God yet, then decide today that you are going to go and do whatever it takes to get to know Him. Don’t wait; life is short, and eternity is forever!
3. Be a man of prayer. Commit yourself to spending at least five minutes a day with God in prayer for the rest of your live, beginning today.

Questions
1. Do you live for today or for eternity? Explain.
2. What would a person who was honest say about you if you were died today? What do you want them to say?
3. Read Matthew 25:31-46. What does Jesus say will happen when He “comes in his glory”? If this were to happen today, which side would you be standing on?

In an upcoming section I will comment on these tasks in my life, and answer the questions. I hope you can reflect, too on these and comment here, if you would like!

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One Response to “The Final Goal”

  1. Becky said

    How true about spending that one hour with God in church, if many of us even do that! So many members of my church complain if service goes over by the one hour mark because they will be at the end of the line at Piccadilly. Little do they know they will be at the end of the line for more than that in the end.

    I pray and conversate with God all day in my thoughts. I am bad about Bible reading but good about reading a devotional.

    Thanks for the reminder to put God first and not to put my mind on non-Godly things.

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